AU Core Curriculum

What is the AU Core?

The AU Core Curriculum, American University's inquiry-based liberal arts education, challenges students to put their curiosity to use inside and outside of the classroom. The AU Core fosters the agile thinking that prepares students to engage in a complex, constantly changing world. The AU Core begins with a first-year experience and foundational skills, highlights essential habits of mind, then integrates these skills and habits with the student's major, and culminates in a capstone. At each stage, the AU Core offers sustained attention to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Why the AU Core?

The three components of the AU Core Curriculum include foundation courses, Habits of Mind courses, and integrative courses. The AU Core is different from standard general education programs. Older models of “gen-ed” emphasized learning content from a broad distribution of fields. But our contemporary world makes content instantly accessible. Instead, the AU Core trains students in what to do with the overwhelming amount of information at our disposal: to develop habits and perspectives that allow us to critically assess, engage with, and deploy this knowledge.

Overview of the AU Core Curriculum

Watch this short explainer video that illustrates how the AU Core Curriculum prepares undergraduate students for their time at AU and beyond.

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